Category Archives: Case Studies

Central Bank of Bosnia & Herzegovina using Necto Internally and Externally!

CBBH Case Study

“While other companies were telling us take it or leave it from the shelf, Panorama offered us the flexibility we needed”. That is how Almir Salihovic, Head of Governor’s Office and project manager for implementation of Panorama Necto in the CBBH, comments Panorama’s operation on CBBH.

CBBH is the Central Bank of Bosnia and Herzegovina, a government insistution with 350 employees. It provides data to a wide variety of external entities such as banks, insurance companies, journalists, analysts, financial, research, academic and governmental institutions. The data covers critical statistics, economic indicators, monetary and foreign trade materials.

What CBBH wanted to pursue and none of the other companies, except for Panorama, was able to achieve was the construction of a new system for online dissemination of statistics, able to serve the most expert statisticians, but easy enough to be used by occasional users. The organization wanted to improve the way it processed data for its internal and external users. Panorama created a setup rich in functionality yet easy to use without any training and it had to be capable to read across variety of data sources. It made a robust, stable, secure system which meets, still now, the most demanding criteria of up time, maintainability and usability.

Panorama Necto gave birth to the most user friendly public statistics delivery system of any Central Bank in Europe. The vendor was chosen after a tough evaluation process because it combined both user friendliness and functionality under a web-based, intuitive user interface, that was the same for both internal and external users, ideal for the bank’s requirements. Also, the company was profoundly aware of CBBH customization needs and timing issues.

Necto-based solution singled CBBH out as an organization that provides excellent service to both individuals and organizations, both to external users, such as investment analysts, finance executives, statisticians, researchers, and internal ones. The system exposes data to users in ways that were not feasible before, provides useful analytical tools to a variety of users and usage scenarios and enables users to display the results using a wide set of state of the art visualizations.

Among the advantages of the new system, the customers quoted:

  • User Independence– Users are able to explore data without depending on IT / BI resources
  • Greater Efficiency– Faster, more effective implementation of BI tasks (from demand to delivery)
  • Higher user satisfaction– Users can spend more time on useful analytics and less time on data retrieval and modelling
  • Increased penetration– a higher number of external users are exposed to information that is relevant to their work
  • More power for power Users – who are able to generate more deliverables using a wider variety of features and  functions, such as production of graphs and charts, as well as analytics of the data without having to have installed expensive software packages at their laptops/desktops
  • Improved proficiency of BI users

“We had a very good cooperation with the development team and I am extremely satisfied, – says Almir Salihovic, Head of Governor’s Office and project manager for implementation of Panorama Necto in the CBBH – one-click insights is a fantastic insight tool that is instantly giving data trends to today’s users of macro-economic data”.

The system has been working since January 2014. The solution development process was led by Poslovna Inteligencija,  an independent consultancy company specialized in analytical systems design and implementation. Amel Pasic, CEO of Poslovna Inteligencija, states: “Thanks to the rich functionality of Necto and the user friendliness of the system we were able to conclude the implementation project on time and on budget. We are proud to have been party to the development of such an successful project.”

 

No need to take or leave needs from the shelf, Panorama Necto can satisfy them all.

 

Video Products Distributors Leverages Panorama Necto to Shorten Decision Window

Video Products Distributors (VPD) is a Folsom, California-based company founded in 1980. The company currently operates various distribution warehouses throughout the country. It supplies DVDs, Blu-ray, video games, gaming systems, and related products and accessories to all industry channels and holds more than $20 million worth of inventory. Key customers include wholesalers such as Amazon.com, Newegg.com, Overstock.com and PlayTrade.

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Company: YES

Company Overview

YES is the only company in Israel that broadcasts multi-channel satellite television to subscribers, and is the first company that provided digital and interactive television services. Since its inception, the company has recruited 578,000 customers who represent about 39% of the multi-channel television market in Israel. YES currently employs around 2400 people and its annual turnover in 2010 was 1.6 billion NIS. YES broadcasts over 150 video channels, including 50 radio and music channels, and a wide range of interactive channels, games, information channels (including portals) and more. These channels also include video pay channels (pay-per-view) and over ten HD channels in i1080 format.

Business Challenge

YES has been at the forefront of technology from the start, even in comparison with giant companies in leading global markets. The company is always on the lookout for efficient and new ways to improve its decision-making process and quality.

“YES is an organization that lives and breathes data at the daily level,” explains Ido Bigger, head of BI technology and social networks in the Business Intelligence Department at YES. “The information we need includes daily analyses for services, sales, subscriber activation, faults, campaign analysis, customer care, trend analysis, meeting organizational goals, and financial models. These, as well as many other types of data, are generated and enriched continually by the Business Information Department, which is part of the Information Technology unit at YES. The data is presented and made available to users in two main ways – Relational Reports (BO) and OLAP views on the BI portal which is based mainly on the Panorama platform.”

YES choice the Panorama platform as a tool for analyzing business intelligence (BI) a few years ago. According to Bigger, the main reason for this was: “The superior capability of the Panorama to perform OLAP cube analytics in a faster, easier and simpler way than other BI tools. The Panorama platform served YES as a smart analytical tool for viewing data aggregations from cubes, easily and simply. We came to the conclusion that in-depth analyses do not have to be performed via complex reports, but rather by means of analytics tools that were specifically designed for this.” In a recent review of the alternatives in the BI area, YES came to the conclusion that Panorama’s solution continues to lead the world of Cube Analysis and decided to upgrade their platform. HighView performed the task of implementing and customizing the requirements of YES.

Solution

The system installed at YES was the Panorama Dashboard, upgraded with a number of additions and special features. Today it is used by hundreds of users at headquarters from the rank of CEO to team managers. The system holds a broad variety of data, ranging from reports that provide a comprehensive picture of the daily situation, to high resolution in-depth analysis of fault incidents, service, sales campaigns, and so on. Bigger points out the decision to choose Panorama was a result of the high level of satisfaction of the BI staff in YES with its superior analytical capabilities and impressive visualization.

“We are talking about a platform that is simple and interactive for the end user, that provides superior analytics, collaboration, and interactive deployment of information,” said Bigger. “During the years we have worked with the Panorama solution we got the impression that it is an easy and friendly platform for implementation and maintenance, and therefore continuing to work with it was both natural and desirable.We are great believers in Cube Analysis and in our opinion Panorama is a leader in the sphere. Without a doubt, it is very convenient to analyze cubes with the Panorama engine because of its Drag and Drop feature, easy-to-use graphs, and unique analytic capabilities.”

Business Benefits

Panorama solution has enabled YES to make the most of its available human capital and technological advantages, and maintain its prevalence in the competitive market in which it operates.

Bigger said one of the benefits of Panorama is its excellent integration with other BI systems in the organization. Avner Katzman, manager of the BI Department, indicated that many of the decisions made in the company are based on the data presented by Panorama. “We are talking about strategic and ongoing tactical decisions. Panorama is an especially useful tool in the customers division where real-time data is presented from the company’s systems and from which we can respond quickly to results from the field and demonstrate business flexibility.”

YES invests in enhancing the customer experience. A central part of these efforts is in the management, measurement and analysis of the organization’s performance,” said Ronny Barnov, Vice President of Information Technology at YES. “The BI systems, and among them Panorama, enable us to provide the organization with a convenient and user-friendly visual picture, and to make knowledgeable decisions in order to improve performance”.

“Panorama is an especially useful tool in the customers division where real-time data is presented from the company’s systems, and from which we can respond quickly to results from the field and demonstrate business flexibility.”

Ido Bigger, Manager of BI Technology and Social Networks in the Business Intelligence Department at YES.

Company: Pilot Travel Centers

Pilot Travel Centers Adds $1.8 Million to the Bottom Line Using Panorama for Automated Analysis and Reporting

Company Profile

For Pilot’s store managers, a large  percentage of every Friday was dedicated to reviewing volumes of paper reports.  It was time consuming and complicated to identify sales performance issues,  Continue reading

Company: Jelly Belly Candy Company

Company Profile

Founded in  1869, Jelly Belly Candy Company is a manufacturer of jelly beans and other  confections. Jelly Belly produces the leading gourmet jelly beans in the world  as well as other treats such as candy corn and Gummi Bears. Jelly Belly  products are sold in 35 countries around the world and in 2003, the company  reported annual sales of more than $140m US.

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Company: Baltika Breweries

Company Overview

Baltika Breweries has been in production  since 1990 with headquarters in St. Petersburg, Russia. Since then, Baltika has  become the leader of the Russian beer market, the second largest brewery in  Europe, with revenues of more than 2 billion Euros, and conducting business  with more than 60 countries across the globe.

Currently, Baltika Breweries operates 12  breweries, managing over 10,000 employees and covering more than 350,000  points-of-sale throughout its massive logistic network.

Business Challenge

Baltika Breweries was on the rise when it  faced data warehousing challenges after merging with three other Russian  breweries in 2006. The merger led to a sudden influx of information that  presented obstacles in conducting successful data reports to monitor performance.  At first, the company integrated Microsoft SQL Server Analysis Services and  Performance Point as its business intelligence platform for data warehousing  and analysis. Pleased with the benefits of the multidimensional analysis the  platform offered, Baltika embarked on an initiative to find and deploy an easy  to use yet powerful business intelligence solution on top of the platform to  construct a unified BI infrastructure throughout the organization. After  evaluating offerings from SAP, Oracle, Cognos and other BI vendors, Baltika  selected Panorama BI suites for its advanced analytical functionality yet  simple, interactive user interface. With Panorama, Baltika Breweries was able  to improve collaboration for its logistics department across the country, as  well as successfully track key performance indicators (KPIs), which streamlined  the entire company’s productivity.

The holding re-organization that  accompanied Baltika’s merger with three other breweries presented a number of  data warehousing challenges. Because of IT differences between the multiple  breweries that became connected through the merger, Baltika’s process took from  several hours to several days for analysts to receive relevant data just to  create a single report.

As a growing  business, Baltika Breweries needed a solution to help manage its information  system that consists of nearly 10,000 users and a database of over 200  terabytes of corporate data.

Baltika initially integrated Microsoft  business intelligence platform to help operate data warehousing technology  through a vast number of users. In addition to the complete BI platform, from  the most innovative and flexible OLAP engine (Analysis Services) to Reporting  (Reporting Services) and ETL (Integration Services), Baltika also selected the  Microsoft solution for its best total cost of ownership (TCO) and integration  with Office and SharePoint for data distribution – a familiar environment for  the users.

To  provide easy to use, interactive analytical tools to its managers to interact  with the data, Baltika was looking for a solution that would seamlessly  integrate into its current Microsoft-based environment. The company evaluated  solutions from Panorama Software, SAP, Oracle and Cognos.

Solution

Baltika Breweries moved forward with Panorama  BI suite for its ease of use and interactive interface for the business users.  This combination of new self-service BI capabilities fit Baltika’s needs, as it  offered a number of advantages, including extended data visualization, light  web-based environment, and tight integration with Microsoft’s platform.

Baltika quickly integrated these benefits  into its top management level and logistics departments to gain a foothold on  its diverse data warehousing needs. The company is planning to extend the  deployment of Panorama’s BI suite into other departments, such as marketing,  manufacturing, sales and the rest of supply-chain department by 2011.

Results

Consistent view on data throughout the  organization

Baltika’s goal is to use the business  intelligence solution to construct a unified infrastructure for its entire  organization, with the main objective to enable all departments to use the same  setup for BI tools and unified analytics. As the historical development  introduced a number of different individual / departmental views on how to  manage corporate data, Panorama has provided an essential tool to successfully  eliminate these challenges and provide vast self-service capabilities and data  visualization.

Panorama’s easy to use Analytics application  makes it possible to drill down to a very deep level of the data with excellent  performance, and to provide in-depth analysis with in a very short time and in  a secure manner.

Self-Service  Access to Information & Increased Productivity

With Panoram, Baltika Breweries’ executives  have improved their collaboration efforts, especially for the logistics  department that spans across the continent, and has improved business  productivity by more effectively tracking KPIs.

“We started with key performance  indicators–like profit and loss, balance sheets, sales volumes–so managers  can see where the problems are located and can drill down to the primary  document” – said Herman Epstein, CIO of Baltika, in his interview with Forbes.  “When our supply chain vice president organizes meetings for all his plant  directors, for example, they can sit in front of the same screen, the same  reports, and explain what’s going on. If there’s a red light somewhere, the  local manager can open his screen and explain why trends have gone from  positive to negative. We can do that on extremely fresh data.”

Overall, Panorama Business Intelligence suite  has helped Baltika create unified performance metrics for its entire corporate  structure and enabled important business leaders to more easily gain insight to  essential corporate data.

Solution Highlights

  • Integrated disparate BI infrastructure and applications across the  enterprise
  • Standardization on the Microsoft platform while getting the power of  self-service analytics and reporting
  • Rich BI functionality that satisfies the executive’s need for deep  and meaningful interaction with data
  • Self-service access to data for managers across the company to  improve efficiency and agility
  • Reporting time takes minutes instead of days
  • The timely detailed reports  facilitate the flow of information within the company, ensuring consistent  communication across all departments.

Company: Geocartography Knowledge Group

Geocartography changes the rules of the game in the world of organizational business intelligence, thanks to the development of an innovative BI solution on Panorama platforms

Company Overview

Geocartography Knowledge Group, one of the leading research institutions in Israel, has been offering scientific and professional expertise in the following range of divisions and Continue reading

Industry: Wholesale distribution and sales

Business Challenges

This company is the leading coffee company in  Romania, producing and distributing roast and ground coffee, instant and  cappuccino. After entering the Romanian market in 1995, the company has already  reached the top position with a market share of almost 50%, supported by  intense promotional activities. However, en route to this enviable position  there were significant challenges to be overcome throughout its sales and  marketing organization.

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Company: State of South Carolina

Two years ago, when South Carolina Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer sought state funds to supplement federal dollars for the South Carolina Office of Aging’s meal program, he knew too many of the state’s senior citizens were hungry and unhealthy.

However, to persuade legislators to vote for those funds, he needed proof ‘ or at least persuasive correlations ‘ between meals and improved health for seniors. Bauer, who heads the Office of Aging, turned to the South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics (ORS), part of the state’s Budget and Control Board.

He wanted the office to show that meals for seniors, paid for with federal funds issued to the state through the Older Americans Act, correlated with better health. Using Panorama’s BI Solution business intelligence (BI) software from Panorama as the front end to a Microsoft SQL Server database, ORS was able to establish that correlation. In June 2006, South Carolina’s state legislature appropriated $2.9 million in state funds for the meal program for the calendar year 2007.

That’s one example of relationships ORS is now finding through its BI tools, incorporating identity-protected data from about 20 state agencies, Medicare, Medicaid, hospitals and other organizations.

‘We can tie funding to programs, agencies, the private sector and nonprofits,’ said Pete Bailey, chief of the 45-person health and demographics group at ORS. ‘We can monitor [funding], evaluate the outcomes and tie them back to continued funding. If a program isn’t successful, the legislature can see that, see where the problem is and fix it.’

ORS’ goal is to use its BI tools to help state agencies and organizations fulfill their missions.   Although it took several years of negotiating with the entities that own the data to get it and then more time to build the databases, ORS is starting to show what it can do with the decision-support tools.   Ultimately, the BI capabilities could add accountability to the political process by measuring the results of policy decisions.   ‘Business intelligence has been widely used in private-sector industries for years,’ said Nigel Pendse, an independent BI analyst, author of the annual Business Intelligence Survey and lead analyst for the Web-only OLAP Report on online analytical processing at www.olapreport.com.   ‘It’s for fast-moving industries to track products and competition, profit and customer profitability,’ he said. ‘Governments are less likely to use these types of products.’   From the ground up   BI software includes the underlying database software or server and the front end, which ‘queries the [database] and represents the results of the queries in different formats,’ Pendse said. Microsoft, SAP, IBM and Oracle are the leaders in the BI field, but ‘the big [companies] do a bad job,’ he said. ‘Most of the surviving small companies do a good job.’   Large companies’ BI products are combinations of different products, Pendse said.   ‘Panorama is better than the others because it has built-from-the-ground-up technology,’ he said. ‘It doesn’t have the integration challenge.   It hasn’t been stitched together from different sources.’

Panorama’s BI Solution, with its dashboard, reporting and analytical capabilities, was selected by ORS because, at the time, it was the only BI tool that could exploit the full power of the online analytical processing and data-mining capabilities of SQL Server. Panorama developed the SQL Server software and sold it to Microsoft in 1996.   ‘After selling the old technology to Microsoft, Panorama built the front end,’ Pendse said. ‘All was happy for 10 years.’   When ORS chose SQL Server, Panorama’s BI Solution was the de facto front-end BI module to extract information from the database.   In the past two years, Microsoft acquired ProClarity, another BI front end, which it is incorporating into SQL Server. ‘Now Microsoft is less likely to feed business to Panorama,’ Pendse said. Consequently, the company is broadening its base of business.   Some experts might not necessarily need a tool like Panorama’s BI Solution to query a database and understand the results. But for employees at ORS, the tool makes accessing and using databases much easier.   Five or six years ago, before the office started using BI tools, ‘statisticians had to manually aggregate all the data,’ Bailey said. ‘Now you just press a button. You can do an analysis in a day, whereas before it would have taken months.’   Building cubes   Since acquiring its BI tools, ORS has built multiple databases, also known as data cubes. Each cube represents data drawn from local, state and federal sources.   The so-called seniors’ cube was the source of the correlation between the seniors’ meals program and their improved health. The metric for improved health was a reduction in the number of emergency room visits and hospitalizations of seniors who received meals. These correlations, plus ORS’ ability to measure state spending outcomes, were instrumental in obtaining state funds for the meals program.   In 2007, those funds paid for 5,476 meals and other home- and community-based services for seniors. The resulting data is just now starting to trickle in to ORS for analysis.

‘Working with the seniors’ cube, we want to show [that] an investment of less than $1,000 a year in home- and community-based services helps an individual maintain independence and dignity in his or her home ‘ preventing or delaying the expense of a $40,000 a year nursing home bed or a $24,000 average Medicare inpatient hospital discharge,’ Bauer said in a statement.

CommuniCare, a nonprofit based in Columbia, S.C., also has benefited from ORS’ BI capabilities. CommuniCare’s mission is to provide prescription medications for the state’s uninsured workers. It operates solely from donated funds.

Last year, the nonprofit spent $34 million to distribute 142,000 prescriptions to more than 14,000 clients. Chief Executive Officer Ken Trogdon said he assumed the organization was helping its clients, but he turned to ORS for some hard numbers.   CommuniCare provided ORS with identity-protected data covering the time from a client’s enrollment with the organization until 18 months afterward. ORS combined this with hospitalization and emergency room utilization metrics extending from a year before an individual signed up for the program until 18 months afterward.

ORS’ analysis showed that diabetics who received medications from CommuniCare reduced their visits to emergency rooms by 27 percent and in-patient hospitalizations by 15 percent during the 30-month period.

Clients with hypertension who received the necessary medications reduced emergency room use by 33 percent and inpatient hospitalizations by 20 percent.   Individuals who received prescription psychotropic drugs from the nonprofit reduced emergency room visits by 24 percent and hospitalizations by 31 percent.   ‘Before, we knew we were doing something good, but it was just warm and fuzzy,’ Trogdon said. ‘When you can quantify the numbers, it justifies our existence and shows the impact we’re having. If we can show what we’re doing in a state like ours that suffers greatly from poverty, then there is a good chance the program can grow nationwide.’   The latest addition to ORS’ analysis capabilities is a geographic information system that allows results to be mapped according to county, ZIP code and congressional district. ‘With the mapping system, we can show these issues to every House member, senator and congressman and the people they represent,’ Bailey said.   ‘When a politician wants to be re-elected, he can show how things have changed while [he was] in office,’ he said. ‘If there haven’t been sufficient improvements, he and agencies can work together. Politicians haven’t previously had specifics of these problems for the people they represent.’   Bailey didn’t say it, but the ability to measure outcomes also means that politicians can be held accountable for their actions, and political programs and initiatives can be objectively evaluated.

THE CONCEPT OF a cube of data is central to business intelligence software, but these cubes aren’t the common 3-D blocks that might come to mind. Instead, a BI cube can have multiple dimensions in which each is an element of a data category.   Data elements might be durations in minutes, hours or months. Or they might be the number of visits a person makes to a hospital.   ‘Cubes typically have between five and 10 dimensions,’ said Nigel Pendse, an independent BI analyst, author of the annual Business Intelligence Survey and lead analyst for the Web-only OLAP Report.

‘The software can do more, but people have trouble understanding it,’ he said.   Data dimensions can be linked or cross-tabbed to find correlations or relationships, just as a Microsoft Excel user finds a cell that links one unique row and one unique column. In fact, Excel is the most commonly used BI software tool.   Because of the sheer quantity of data it manages from local, state and federal sources, the South Carolina Office of Research and Statistics, part of the state’s Budget and Control Board, uses Microsoft SQL Server to create its 20 data cubes, and more are being developed.

The office uses Panorama’s Panorama’s BI Solution to query the data cubes for information that will help client agencies do their jobs better.   ‘The beauty of the software is that you can define the relational database and how the data are related, define the data, and the computer does all the work for you,’ said Pete Bailey, chief of health and demographics at ORS.